Thursday, August 11, 2022

Manchester United Keeping Tabs On This Serie A Winger: Should The Red Devils Make A Move For Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by The Daily Mail, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent his chief scout Simon Wells out on a scouting trip to Florence to catch Federico Chiesa in action for Fiorentina in their 1-1 draw against AC Milan last weekend. The same source has also claimed that the Red Devils could face competition from Juventus in pursuit of the £60m-rated Italian attacker.

Chiesa’s Outstanding Rise At Fiorentina In Recent Years

The Genova-born talent has enjoyed a productive season at the Artemio Franchi Stadium after putting in a string of impressive displays in the Serie A so far. He is a product of the Fiorentina academy and has made a total of 138 appearances for the Italian club. The 22-year-old is currently playing some of the best football of his young career, so it is no surprise that a top club like Man United are keeping track of his progress at Florence.

Chiesa has featured in 25 matches for Giuseppe Iachini’s side this term, scoring seven goals across all competitions. He has netted some memorable goals against the likes of Lazio, Napoli and Atalanta, which goes to highlight his growing influence in the Fiorentina first-team. The 17-time Italy international is also a decent playmaker after he registered five assists for his boyhood club in this campaign.

Solskjaer needs to bolster his attacking options next summer so that he can increase competition for Daniel James, Bruno Fernandes and Juan Mata for a place in the Red Devils starting XI. Hence, Chiesa will be a shrewd acquisition for the Mancunian giants if they decide to seal a move for his services at the end of this campaign.

Federico Chiesa of ACF Fiorentina reacts during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and AC Milan at Stadio Artemio Franchi on May 11, 2019, in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

What Are The Italian Playmaker’s Best Attributes?

Chiesa enjoys making driving runs in the final third using his agility and terrific turn of pace. He can dribble with the ball out of tight areas and also packs a lot of power with his shots at goal. He is averaging 3.6 shots, 1.3 key passes and 1.6 dribbles per game in the Serie A this season which proves that he is playing at a high level (stats via whoscored).

Even though Chiesa is primarily a winger, Iachini has used him as a forward throughout this campaign. His versatility and goal-threat make him a perfect fit for the Red Devils. However, the Italian wide player needs to improve his productivity if he wants to become a world-class player someday. The fact that he is taking over three shots every 90 minutes of top-flight football but has just six goals to show for his efforts suggest that there is still a lot of improvement to be done in his game.

Should The Mancunian Outfit Launch A Move For Chiesa?

Man United can benefit from adding a goal-scorer of Chiesa’s potential as he will add some much-needed depth to their squad. The Italian sensation will free up space for the likes of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood to be utilised as strikers up top. Otherwise, the Premier League outfit could also play him as a secondary striker alongside Anthony Martial in the attacking third of the pitch. Solskjaer will have the freedom to be more flexible and experimental with his formation and tactics next season if he can recruit the versatile Fiorentina attacker this summer.

Chiesa is about to embark upon the peak years of his playing career so the Red Devils can expect to see the best of him in the coming years. Hence, it makes a lot of sense for Man United to orchestrate a move to land him ahead of the new campaign.

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